|Nicknames:||Chakravanti, Niyamavanti , Thanatoics, Wheel-turner, Keepers of the Wheel, The Hooded Ones (pejorative), Death mages (pejorative)|
|Faction:||Council of Nine Mystic Traditions|
The Euthanatoi, also known as the Chakravanti ("People of the Wheel") or the Niyamavanti ("People of our Rule") are a Tradition of mages intimately devoted to the forces of death, rebirth, destiny, and karma in the world. They represent a collection of thanatotic cultists, necromancers, priests of fate, assassins, scholars, gamblers and healers.
Euthanatos mages embrace the role of death in the world as that which cleanses and makes way for future growth. Most believe in the reincarnation of souls, meaning death in one life is not to be feared and in fact may be crucial to one's spiritual development. Even those who do not share this belief recognize a continuous cycle of death and rebirth throughout life, and accept that at times death may be necessary to end suffering. These mages guard the moment between life and death. Heretical reincarnationists, they see Creation as a spinning Wheel of Death and Rebirth. When something — or someone — interferes with the Wheel's motion, the obstacle should be removed. The method of removal may be as simple as a kind word or as final as murder.
Most controversially, many Euthanatos see it as their duty to push this cycle forward, removing sources of disease, corruption, and misery from the world in order to quicken the turn of the Wheel of Ages. This means judging when a person's moral degradation has grown too harmful to themselves or others to be allowed to continue, and when it is appropriate to deliver the Good Death. Euthanatos are not cavalier about this responsibility, and are painfully aware of the risk of Jhor, but they know their work is necessary and that they are the only ones for it. To the Euthanatoi, theirs is a sacred duty, one that must be carried out, but is so strenuous and terrible that only the most strong-willed can perform it. It’s not so much that they take on a right, as they take on a burden: responsibility for pain, for release and for renewal.
Though the Euthanatoi have roots across the world, their magic is most commonly explained through concepts taken from Indian religions. They believe that all animate beings possess an Atman, their sacred self or soul, that which is divine and indestructible. Secondly, a person's Dharma describes their purpose and place in Creation, what they are meant to do and the rules by which they are to live. It is in fulfilling their Dharma that the Euthanatoi find enlightenment, and in doing so, strengthen their connection to the cosmos. Thus, what they use magic for is as important as the tools they employ.
Many Euthanatoi believe they are chosen to be agents of Karma, tasked with judging those who have strayed too far from their Dharma. Those of other cultural heritages have similar concepts with different names; Greeks speak of the Fates as the force which punishes those who act improperly, while the Celtics say all souls are bound by geasa that guide them to their destiny. Likewise, Euthanatoi have long sought guidance from incarnations of death such as various gods, spirits, and other chthonic entities. While this may involve actual worship, it is just as often the mage seeking some form of divine consent before making the life and death decisions they are tasked with.
For the Euthanatoi, death is not the end; death is an end. There isn’t much good in an existence that will serve no purpose, and there is less good in an existence that brings pain or trouble to everything it touches, so it’s for the best to end that thread and let a new one take its place than allow it to take up space. Suffering and sorrow mar the picture that it’s the Tapestry, and renewal means these threads will be rewoven into it. Every man must take up his burden, surpass it and accept the responsibility to deal with this inevitability. That responsibility becomes a keystone for the support of the world, for the willingness to support and shelter others — and to perform the duties necessary to release those who only bring or know suffering.
Other mages find it hard to understand the Euthanatoi. It’s not that they fail to grasp the rationale for their magical arts; after all many Traditions believe in the notion of an all-encompassing cycle governs the Tellurian. The problem is with their whole mindset, the insistence of the Tradition on being the guardians of that cycle and cling to an ethos and a sense of duty that turns them both into healers and killers. What other Traditions can’t understand is that the Chodona, the belief system and legal code the Thanatoics live on, it’s more than a moral duty and an ideal addended to a magical style. Duty is what makes the Euthanatos sacred and powerful. It is what allows them to use magic at all. After all, the soul must be pure to connect with the Akasha that serves as the hidden, formless foundation of reality, or the mage is confined to her small thread on the skein of Fate.
It’s a belief of the Wheel-turners that if all sentient beings had the ability to pierce the structure of reality and manipulate it, the whole universe would quickly dissolve into primordial chaos once more. That’s why the Wheel provides the structure of the Lokha — the Tellurian, enforcing the laws of cause and effect across all creation. While materialists and scientists say that only applies to physical phenomena, the Euthanatoi claim that causal laws shape the mystical universe, preceding and affecting as a result what transpires in the material world. Different Euthanatoi have different names for it, but the Tradition as a whole calls it karma.
Karma is inescapable and it affects everything, with only Moksa being able to contravene its laws. Karma is the mechanism by which all things occur. That means that when a sentient being decides to stray from the path to Moksa, a karmic punishment occurs, and while they complete their duty to their Atman, they are rewarded. In the same way, the ‘Lokha’ it’s shaped by the collective karma of Sleepers, creating a Consensus that makes physical laws and events occur.
Unfortunately, due to the state of affairs in the World of Darkness some Euthanatoi to believe that the Sleepers are too far gone to save. Having followed immoral leaders and selfish impulses, they reap the sorrow of ecological collapse, war and, in the end, Armageddon. The Hierochthonoi (a group of greek chthonic priests inside the Tradition) calls this whole train of thought an abandonment of duty and folly hubris — something than mages are more than capable of nurture.
The Sacred Duty. The Wheel of ages spins towards a purpose only fulfilled at the terminus of every Cycle, when the gods of destruction put an end to the Lokha and recreate the primordial harmony so the universe can begin anew. Every soul cultivate themselves to this end by following different paths. This is what Indian Euthanatoi call dharma, while other Wheel-turners have other names for it (like the Aided’s Geasa), but in essence the concept is always the same. This dharma is the duty bestowed by the Atman and the Wheel itself, with every sentient being having the responsibility to guide their Atman toward Ascension. Failing and hesitating with that duty means the Wheel turning to punish the wrongdoer with a painful karma, while succeeding and honoring their burden means good fortune and by the end, an union with the divine.
The Euthanatoi are special in the fact that they were given the hardest, most sacred duty of all: the Chakradharma as revealed by the Chodona. To attain liberation, they must enforce the dharmas of all other beings. Subtle workings and the Good Death are tools to be used in following their sacred law. Adherence allows them to refine their connection to the Atman and touch the divine state themselves, even if it means that their dharma sometimes offends the sensibilities of other mages. In their roles as enforcers of dharma, Euthanatoi must confront unpleasant realities about the people they influence and the Wheel that sets all things in motion. Destiny may be ultimately moral, but it sometimes carries dark truths that must be obeyed to serve the greater good.
The 'Atman', the sacred self. An indestructible self united to the whole creation. The awakened and mystical self. All Euthanatoi believe that, barring Gilgul, the Atman is indestructible, divine and the font of infinite potential. It learns to realize its own nature over countless incarnations. In some births it learns a little more of its true nature, and no longer follows the laws of karma it did as a Sleeper. Awakened, the Atman has the potential to achieve godhood or even Moksa — Ascension.
The Thanatoics see their souls as two separate halves. The first one it’s called the Atman, source of their power, the sacred self that passes always after death and the link to the One. The second one is the ‘Jive’, the part of the soul that fuels the personality of a person and can remain after the Atman reincarnates, like what happens with wraiths and vampires.
Magic. Mystic power gained from meditation. Inner energy set free to do great works. Primi Chalech chose this word because it represented the Tradition’s ideal. With discipline and meditation, a mage unlocks the power of creation’s Cycle itself. Not the manipulation of impersonal forces and laws, but a state of being result of a thorough adherence to a dharma. According to Euthanatoi’s belief system, the Awakened are permitted by the Wheel to access the primordial being and source — called by many names like Akasha, the Void, Brahma, Shiva, Om, Abu, the Cry of Creation… — before it is woven into the Patterns of the Tellurian. If a mage uses this capabilities to unravel the Tellurian, that it is the same as to hinder the dharma of countless Sleepers and their own sacred duties, meaning that karma must punish the mage with a Paradox backlash.
As a newly Awakened Wheel-turner is nothing more than human, its dharma doesn’t permit the mage to manipulate this primordial source by its own power, so it needs what it is called the Divine Union. By using rituals, the Atman merges with a god or an archetype that embodies the aspect of the Lokha that the mage wants to change. Thanks to the foci, the new Euthanatoi reaches a state of meditative absorption where she gains the liberated consciousness of a god. She can then use its attributes to alter reality. As she advances in her dharma, she becomes more and more able to do this without rituals; her consciousness becomes divine on its own.
The Euthanatoi have always recognized the traditional gods of the ancient world. As the Tradition grew, new gods and primordial symbols were added. Catholic saints, important mathematical formulae and figures from local folklore were added as new death mages tapped into the prevailing power of their cultures. A modern Lhaksmist might flood her consciousness with probability theory as a new aspect of the Goddess; a Chakramuni could use the divine face of Jungian archetypes to explore past lives.
Moksa. Liberation. When a mage masters dharma, it also learns to accept the divinity of the Atman. That’s when the mage begins to discard her tools and abide in the soul’s connection to the uncreated cosmos. That’s when a choice comes, the Wheel-turner must choose between becoming one of the gods or to unite with the Creator itself. The first option means to become one of the aspects of the Cycle and be the guardian of that primeval power, while the latter option means joining with the Cycle and what guides it, attaining Moksa, the final liberation from karma. There is a third secret option however, that being rejecting both in order to serve as a guide for other souls striving for Moksa. The work of this ‘Avataras’ should be subtle and go unnoticed, as traces of their guidance and work are very scarce and the stuff of legends.
Tools and Practices Edit
As it was mentioned, by virtue of their Awakened state and their unique Dharma, the Euthanatoi may merge with divine beings or principles, taking on their roles and attributes in order to perform magic. Shiva, Kali, Rudra, and other Hindu gods are seen as personifications of universal forces that Euthanatoi then embody through ritual and symbolic representations. Others sects extend this idea to pagan gods, Loa, ancestor spirits, Catholic saints, or impersonal forces like death and chance. Through practice, adherence to their Dharma, and greater wisdom they come to rely on these entities less and less as their soul moves closer to divinity in its own right.
Regarding the actual way the Euthanatoi perform their magic, most of them use it as a way to measure the balance of a situation or a life, making a divination to get an estimation of the most probable outcome of a given event. This can come in many ways, a coin flip, a rolling dice, or subtle gaze to see what a soul holds. What the Sleepers perceive as mere chance, the Wheel-turners use to their own favor, making their command of the Entropy Sphere a powerful weapon in order to create coincidental effects and avoid Paradox backlashes. In order to get such effects, some Euthanatoi master the ability to create a series of perfectly believe set of events that appear to just be random chance in order to get a desired result. Not every magic performed by a Thanatoic mage does results in death, actually killing is the last resort for a true Wheel-turner, only when they consider there is no other way around to redeem or save a soul the deed is done. A situation that can be changed for the better without losing any blood is always preferred.
The Tradition foci serve to bring mages closer to different aspects of the world, with bones and funerary objects symbolizing death, dice, and other games of chance representing entropy and luck, while staves signify divine law and punishment. Meditation, ritual purification, and extreme asceticism also help separate the soul from the body, allowing it to attain higher states of being. Mantras and songs attune them to specific gods or the subjects of their magic. As tools of death, weapons often have special meaning to Euthanatos, and serve to remind them of the seriousness of their duties. These foci are a way to fuse themselves with one of the attributes of the Wheel, as it was pointed, some older factions prefer to personify these concepts with gods of old, while other Wheel-turners use mathematics, formulas and other more abstract symbols, elevating their consciousness to spin reality into new forms. Regardless of the practice or the ritual tools they do to reach such states, Thanatoics take ritual precautions before and after a working, and direct their will with care. When you're playing with the powers of life, death and fate, an extra safeguard is worth the effort. Other common Thanatoic foci include ascetic practices, dances, bells and drums, computers, mathematics, drugs, poisons, eye contact, elements and self-sacrifice, among others.
Some Euthanatoi believe that every single language has its origin in the first sacred sound that brought the Lokha and all reality into existence. That means that the first sound manifests itself into everything that exists. That sound and other mystical mantras and songs representing other divine principles and concepts can be used to focus the innermost divinity and to power magical effects related to their meanings. Sound is one of the most important symbolic tools in India, being a key to the cosmos itself, and pronouncing a mantra incorrectly could make an effect fail or even turn against the caster. Mantras can only be passed on orally; written mantras are "dead" and supposedly have no power. Some Euthanatoi (especially orthodox Chakravanti) recite entire texts during important rituals. Time-consuming as this may be, it's considered a potent exercise of willpower, devotion and spiritual purity.
The rather evident link between fate, chance and mortality make cards, dice and other chance based instruments a natural foci and practice for Thanatoic mages, and most of their factions and different styles use them in one way or another. Games of chance have very old and traditional roots in the Indian subcontinent, while other tools like Tarot cards have a very obvious baggage in occult practices. It makes sense then for the Wheel-turners to have been using foci like lots and dice for the magic. Result may appear as something random, but they actually follow and show the mage the subtle workings of karma and how it manifests. Modern Euthanatoi use the Tarot and the I-Ching. A few Lhaksmists find high stakes gambling to be an effective way of working magic. This has brought some debate inside the Tradition about if mundane cheating without any magic involved it’s a proper application of this principle.
Weapons are symbols of power. Holding a weapon with the intent to make some use of it exemplifies a will and the obligation to perform an undertaking. Different kind of weapons symbolize a diverse plethora of gods, like Shiva’s trident or Rudra’s bow. Also in the end, using a weapon in combat brings the mage face to face with death, mortality and the ethics of killing. Euthanatoi try to never forget the reason why they use weapons in the first place by consecrating theirs to the principles of Chakradharma. Other practice to achieve this is to forge the tool themselves. This Tradition employs a big variety of different weapons, turning them into a symbol of their work.
The Kalananda is the term used by the Euthanatos Tradition to refer to the true death magic, in other words what others would call necromancy. To the uninformed, the rumor that Euthanatos are death mages cast into them the preconceived idea of being a group of necromancers. That’s not the truth, but indeed a common misconception. The Thanatoics study death and rebirth and the nature of the dead, but most of them actively avoid to engage into such practices because they are very dangerous, carrying the risk of Jhor. Their necromancy, it’s as the word originally meant the art to communicate with the dead, and only one of the many practices that allows to be able to perform such rites. The name Kalananda refers to the staff wielded by the lord of the dead (Yama, Hades…), an instrument of authority that separates the realms of life and death. A mage who crosses the line between both does it by embodying the god itself or by defying him, just as Orpheus did when the journeyed into the Underworld to save his beloved Eurydice. Both approaches need a set of rules, an oral creed passed down by the gurus to their apprentices. These serve as a series of guidelines for the Euthanatoi to follow when delving into the Underworld, like never use Entropy on the dead, how to hidden their nature as living beings or respect its inhabitants.
Different sides of the Kalananda are the Necromancy to channel and communicate with the death, the Necrourgy to master the dead through binding and warding and the Necrosynthesis to blur the line between life and death. Some of those are seen with more suspicion and distrust by the Euthanatos as a whole. Even so, certain Tradition sects make use of them, with spells that call the dead or channeling the essence of death itself. The Tradition is very wary of such practices, thinking that there is something very wrong about commanding the bodies of the dead as if they were still alive.
The spiritual predecessors of the Euthanatoi arose from the merging of the Dravidian people with that of nomadic Aryans. As the two cultures evolved together, their religions combined and their gods became more complex: individual deities could be creators and destroyers, generous and cruel, vengeful but just. They came to see the flow of time as a cycle of life and death, with actions causing karmic reactions. A few heretics come to the belief that even things considered profane, such as handling dead bodies or the murder of others, are necessary for the turning of the Wheel and can serve a virtuous purpose. From these individuals willing to violate the taboos of their society in order to ease the suffering of others and aid destiny's course come the model of the first Euthanatos.
The Himalayan War Edit
The arrival of the Akashic Brotherhood in India around 900 BCE provoked a philosophical conflict with the Thanatoic cults that had grown there. While walking together, an Akashic Brother called White Tiger witnessed a healer named Ranjit performing mercy killings on those too sick to heal in order the stem a plague's spread in the region. Outraged, White Tiger struck and accidentally killed him. When White Tiger returned to his peers and spoke of the corrupt practices of those like Ranjit, the Akashic Brotherhood decided to coordinate a strike against the disparate cults with the intention of eliminating them. A vicious war began and continued for centuries, with mages on both sides using their knowledge of the reincarnation of souls to be reborn with their memories in order to fight on and settle old grudges. Eventually disparate group of death mages learn of one another's existence and realize they are threatened by a common enemy. When they unite as the Chakravanti, the Akashics are beaten back and forced into seclusion.
The Chakravanti Edit
After Alexander the Great's invasion and retreat from India, members of the Chakravanti followed his trail with the intention of learning more of the world and the practices of other mages. They found in Greece cults of the Underworld with practices similar to their own. The beliefs of the Celts likewise included sacrifice, reincarnation, and other ideas with which the Chakravanti could find common ground. Wherever their emissaries traveled over the next several centuries they continued to encounter other death mages, and in 1304 a man named Sirdar Rustam organized a gathering of the different groups to discuss a common foundation for their magic. The emissaries debated for eighteen months, followed by another ten years of discourse by messenger, resulting in the Eight Spoked Wheel of the Law which outlined their collective beliefs.
The Euthanatos Edit
By the time of Grand Convocation, the Chakravanti was a powerful Tradition with members around the known world. Despite this, the death mages still had great difficulty earning the recognition and trust of the other Traditions. A number of African and Mayan mages joined them, but their cultures suffered or died completely in the centuries of colonialism. India and Ireland became battlegrounds between the Euthanatoi and the Order of Reason. Later, the Euthanatoi were the only Tradition to oppose the Third Reich from the beginning and actively assassinated mages participating in war crimes. The Tradition continues to quietly police their peers for traitors or Nephandi, while struggling to combat the increasing levels of decay impeding the Wheel's turn.
The exposure of the corruption of House Helekar and the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy forced the Euthanatoi to face their own dark elements. The rise of a vampire-king in Bangladesh sees that the Euthanatoi believe that the turning moment of the Wheel draws near. Some now want to shed their old name, often mis-rendered by the younger generation, and return to their Chakravanti name, while others believe that the return to an old name is no better than keeping their current. These propose a new name altogether: Niyamavanti. As it stands, no decision has been made.
The Euthanatoi have never had a strong hierarchy, instead placing great value on mentor-student relationships. Mentors provide magical training, instruct their charges in the Tradition's code, and prepare them to carry the many burdens of the Euthanatos duty. When a student has undergone the Diksha, a near-death ritual meant to give the subject a greater understanding of death, they are considered a true apprentice of the Tradition. Their training under their mentor or other teachers continues for many years until they've obtained the rank of Guru, which generally means having performed their duties under great duress and either having become Master of a Sphere or Adept of several. Only then is the Euthanatos trusted to act without the supervision of their mentor.
The Euthanatoi have an informal structure of rank that pays lip service to the system of the Council of Nine Mystic Traditions, but draws much of the old organization of the Chakravarti. Students begin as shravaka, who are absolutely beholden to their mentors. When their aptitude has grown, they graduate to become chelas, who are allowed to administer the "Good Death" and whose tutorship focuses more on ethics and spiritual themes than magic. Most chelas and shravakas are organized into small "chakras" that study under the same mentor. If a chela is regarded as mature enough and has fulfilled his dharma under duress, he becomes an Acarya, who may take students of his own. Archmages of the Euthanatoi are called Paramagurus, great teachers with insights into the workings of the Wheel. Oracles are called Avataras.
The Euthanatoi, by virtue of their calling, take offenses seriously. Since the Helekar affair, even their own are watched more diligently against the death-taint. A chakra might choose an Arcarya to act as their defendant if one of their own is accused.
The basis for Euthanatoi law is the Chodona. The Chodona contains all principles that the Euthanatoi strive to fulfill. The interpretation of the Chodona for individual cases falls to the Acaryas, who may act as pramatars (judges) over accusations within the Tradition.
- Prevabhnava: The belief in a cycle of death and rebirth.
- Hiranyagarha: The belief in the unity of creation.
- Kala: The belief in the inevitability of time and decay.
- Gopaya: The belief in the necessity to protect the cycle from corruption.
- Diksha: The belief in the ceremonial death as initiation.
- Tyaga: The rejection of pleasures for the gain of pleasure.
- Sadhana: The belief in the necessity of spiritual advancement.
- Daya: The belief of the necessity of compassion.
As a diverse Tradition, the Euthanatoi gather groups of mages from all over the globe into their fold. The only real requirements are that the group believes in Fate and the inevitability of death and rebirth.
Several of these factions have their own sub-sects and specializations, as well as histories that are as venerable as those of whole Traditions.
Celtic death mages who sought shelter within the Euthanatoi from Christian persecution and have since maintained a strong group identity. They believe geasa direct everyone to their destiny, and those who violate their geasa are doomed to suffer misfortune until their next life.
- Corriguinech: Assassins who follow the triple-goddess Morrígan and employ a combination of poetic curses, martial combat, and tools that are both practical and symbolic of the Celtic gods.
- Filidh: Seers who watch over local communities, often employing animal husbandry, protective magic, and weather-crafting for the benefit of their flock.
- Main article: Chakravanti
The oldest group of Euthanatoi who represent the Tradition's core identity and ethos. They formed from numerous Thanatoic cults in the East during the Himalayan Wars. They believe in the reincarnation of souls, follow Vedic customs, and seek enlightenment by following Dharma.
- Devasu: A new sect of assassins and death mages which has taken over responsibility for protecting Thanatoic cults and holdings from outsiders. They use martial arts and yoga to channel the power of the god Rudra.
- Lhaksmists: Individuals who focus entirely on luck and manifestations of chance. Though traditionally associated with gods or goddesses of luck, many modern Lhaksmists see information theory, mathematics, and quantum physics as areas where the dictates of karma manifest.
- Natatapas: One of the two original Chakravanti sects (the other being the Consanguinity of Eternal Joy), they are a conservative group who practice historical Buddhism and Hinduism while preserving the oldest Thanatoic rites.
Descendants of Chthonic cults from Greece and Rome, the Hierochthonoi are less an organized group and more category of those Euthanatoi who employ Hellenic rituals and beliefs. Members typically draw upon the power of deities who regulate destiny, death, and the Underworld.
- Knights of Radamanthys: An offshoot of the Pomegranate Deme who formed in 1144 to act as guards for Chthonic cults, and later became highly sought mercenaries in the Ascension War.
- Pomegranate Deme: A collection of cults that focus on the goddesses Demeter, Hekate, Kore, Persephone, and the Fates. Their numbers have been steadily declining as new Awakened join other, less theological, sects of the Tradition.
- Main article: Madzimbabwe
An ancient society from Africa who have long protected their people by learning from ancestor spirits and quietly dispatching evil with poisons and disease. Despite centuries of decline and weakening identity, their numbers are growing and they have become a greater presence in the Euthanatoi.
- N'anga: Shamans who are devoted to an ancestor spirit in the form of a Wraith, Umbrood, or Avatar. They are the orthodox Madzimbabwe who consider themselves the inheritors of Great Zimbabwe.
- Ta Kiti: A subset of the Madzimbabwe tied to the Shona. They mix Santería and Voudun beliefs, while calling on Ascended ancestors for power and prophecy.
The Vrati are groups dedicated to specific duties needed by the Tradition as a whole. Promising members are typically selected from other factions, promoting continued trust and understanding between the Vrati and their more spiritual brethren.
- Albireo: Once considered inter-Tradition diplomats, it has recently come to light that they have long policed internal threats to the Traditions. Their attack on the traitorous House Janissary has exposed their secret, and now Tradition mages are divided on whether to condemn or welcome their actions.
- Chakramuni: These mages track the cycle of reincarnation, particular the Avatars of mages. They research the Tradition's history, watch for the return of ancient dangers, and pursue practical applications for their knowledge of the soul.
- Golden Chalice: Assassins descend from ancient Byzantium who specialize in eliminating Nephandi and corrupt Sleepers. They are divided into two groups: the Alphas focus on infiltration, disguise, and poisons, while the Omegas are experts in hostage retrieval, demolitions, and executions.
- Pallottino: A family of Italian death mages who preserve the magic of their Etruscan ancestors. They are only loosely associated with the Euthanatoi; they focus on protecting the graves of Italy's former rulers and preserving the rites that keep their ancestor spirits at peace.
- Yggdrasil's Keepers: Worshippers of Odin and Mímir, the Gallowsmen believe the gods take note of those who perform glorious deeds at great risk to themselves. Many study medicine and become combat medics so that the worthy can pursue their destinies.
- Yum Cimil: Secretive followers of Ah Puch who joined the Euthanatoi during the Grand Convocation but have largely been absent ever since. They are sometimes encountered when traveling through Central America.
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